Thursday, August 30, 2012

Call us Maybe?

I had plan to post my race recap for Hood to Coast next but it is not ready so let's go with HTC entertainment! 

It is HARD to run Hood to Coast  no question about it.

It is also really fun.

I was so lucky to have the best teammates in my van: TEAM NIGHT Van 1!

All nice and funny and very talented runners.

We did have other skills...well at least we "think" we did...see for yourself...! 
I made this video from the footage I took with my Ipad while we were in the Van.  (Clearly, I am expecting an Oscar nomination for best short document)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Childless in Seattle.....

I am not going to write 12 posts on Hood to Coast but I am also not going to do just 1 huge one. 

Before I start..

I got to say that I think it is pretty sad that the women (me included) who were a part of HTC-NUUN 2012 feel like they have to "apologize" for writing about their experience..some are loosing followers because they write "too much" about it.  Really...?  As a follower of MANY blogs I can say that I don't enjoy every single post people write...but I don't un-follow them because they put a picture of a PB & J sandwich with carrots on the side for the 1245 times this month...I just skip and come back the next day and I don't put in the comment that I am tired of their food pictures because at the end of the day nobody is forcing me to look at them and read what goes with them. 

This will probably not make me popular...I am OK with that.  I am just tired of the that even an English word...let's check spell check....yep looks like it is!  I am tired of websites -I will not name here because I don't want to give them free publicity- that offer forums to put people down  ...the jealousy..the "let's be mean just because I can and I am hiding in front of a computer" attitude.   Life is way too short so I am asking you, nice folks who read my little blog, don't be mean to the 30 bloggers who ran HTC with NUUN...just skip the posts if you have had enough.   Last year I read all the Hood to Coast posts that the people I follow wrote.  I could not get enough.  The reason is because I had an interest in that event.  I wanted to do it one day.   I had an interest in how they did and if they had a good time.  The gals I follow who were on the team last year made me believe that I could do this.  I hope that by writing about my own personal experience at Hood to Coast I can do that for at least one of you who will read my words.  Yes there's many of us who are writing about the same race this week but in the end only a maximum of 3 bloggers ran each of the 36 legs and I can tell you that I am pretty sure it went down differently for all 3.

OK are you still here....well I thank you...merci beaucoup!
So Childless in Seattle....that was me the first couple of days.
This adventure was huge for me in many ways.  One of them being that it was the FIRST time I had ever left my kids.......that is 8 years people!  It was so strange at first.  Let me take a moment here to thank the person who invented SKYPE.

I arrived in beautiful Seattle Wednesday morning at 9 am.  I got up at 4 am and Sandy who blogs at Boston Bound Brunette and could not be nicer, came to pick me up to take me to the airport.  I owe her big time!

So I got to Seattle and Casey from NUUN was there to pick me up.  What a nice guy he is!  We went to get 5 other girls who arrived the night before and we staying at a hotel near the airport.  I met Jocelyn, Stephanie, Lauren, Laura and Susan, all super nice young gals.  I am not just saying that in case they come and read this.  THEY ARE.  Not once did they make me feel like the "old married with kids lady". They decided to go for a run before the baseball game but I was good and followed PT order and I walked.  It was hard to resist the temptation watching them taking off BUT in the end the best decision because I am 100% convinced that taking 2 days of running rest is what led to almost NO groin pain during HTC runs.

 I love Seattle.  I could move there today.  I can take rain over heat any day.  That city reminded me of my hometown a lot.  One big difference was the number of homeless people...I was surprised to see so many in the city.  Really sad situation.

I walked to the Pike Place Market and met the girls there as they were headed back.
I saw the very first Starbucks.  Lots of people were standing in line to get in..I did not get it..really you get the same coffee you would get at any other Starbucks and trust me in Seattle those are not hard to find.  They are EVERYWHERE!

For the 2 days leading up to Hood to Coast, NUUN had planned activities to allow the team members to meet and get to know each other before being put in a stinky van for hours.  That was such a great plan I think.  The NUUN group made us feel welcomed and took great care of all of us.  Look,  I could be a lot smarter here and say that it was horrible and the NUUN team was rude and not friendly and invent all kinds of lies..because well less people would apply next year right....  Right...but the thing is I hate liars so I am a truth teller like my Team Night van 1 teammate Robyn would say, and those people were the best.  I cannot say thank you enough for all that they did for us.   On the schedule was a Mariners baseball game, dinners, a visit to the Oiselle office, an "Amazing Race in Seattle a la NUUN", visit to NUUN office of course, Van decorations and hanging out with everyone on  the team.   That gave us the chance to get to know everyone not just the 5 others  who would be in the van with us.  I loved meeting everyone in person and having time to say more than just "Hi".  Many were just like I imagined them to be (in a good way of course).    It is a bit surreal to meet people for the first time that you kind of already know...I know you know what I mean.  Now do that 30 times in the same day!!  I could tell that we were all happy and grateful to be there.  I know I was.  I don't know how many times I told myself or others "We are so lucky".  We were all different..single, married, moms, superstar runners, average runners, really young, not so young anymore (hmm Hello over here), first time at Hood to Coast, 6th times at HTC, some have been running all their lives, some like me had just a couple of years of experience.   We all love to run.

Tricia, Tonia, Jess, Marjorie and me.
Breakfast at Starbucks at beautiful Green Lake Park: Katie, Kelsey, Megan, Tonia and me.

This was where the Oiselle offices are and we got to visit and Sally explained to us how she started this company.  Thank you Oiselle for the T-shirt! I love it!!!

After that we headed back to the hotel for some Jamba Juice time! 

"Finally a picture with running friends where I don't look like a giant"
That's what we said: Robyn, Sarah and me.

Next up...the NUUN Office!  My kind of place!  I would work there.  (NUUN if you need a translator..let me know!) The vibe is good.  Laid back.  Huge open space.  No doors.  Everyone sees everyone.  They even have an office dog!

It is there that we got the "swag".  OK I am like most of you, I do like to receive free gifts, of course I do.  For me, not even a small part of this whole thing was about getting free things.  It was all about getting down Mt Hood, having a good time, sharing this with others who also love running. 

We were spoiled.  I will mention the items through out my posts.
Thursday afternoon was the "Amazing Race in Seattle a la NUUN".  We were put in teams that were different than our HTC team and were given a list of stuff we needed to find in the city.  It was a great way for people to see the town and get to know each other.  It was a lot of walking though and I got worried.  My leg started to hurt pretty bad, all I could think of was "Tomorrow I am runner 1, I have a VERY HARD leg to run, I am going to die"

Team 1 (a very creative bunch with a name like that):
Sarah, Katie, Tricia, Robyn, me and Amanda
Famous Gum Wall: So So GROSS
We came back for dinner pretty tired and I was so grateful that in the swag bag we had a TIGER TAIL.  It saved me.  I love this thing.  It is so much better than the foam roll and the stick I think.  Easy to use and to carry and it gets the job done.  I rolled and rolled so much that I ended with bruises!!!
We had one last thing to do before trying to sleep before heading to Portland for the main event: Decorate our van!!!!!  My van was TEAM NIGHT Van 1.
Robyn, Vanessa, me, Lauren and Susan (missing was Shanna)

To be continued...
I hope you will come back..for the running part of this adventure...all in one post...

I thank you for reading
Thank you for the comments on my first post on this ...
What? you missed one HTC could you....
(it is still here.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

I am a HOOD to COAST finisher! Thank you NUUN!

I am back from PARADISE...aka Oregon.
The most beautiful place I have seen in the USA so far for sure.

I am not ready for recaps yet....and like some of my teammates have said today in other posts on their blogs, I will say that it is coming your way and if you are having an indigestion of NUUN-HOOD to COAST posts well.... well nothing come to think of it.  You don't have to read everything but I sure have to WRITE everything because I don't want to forget any part of it.. (well maybe one part..more on that this week..)

Here's what I'll say for now:
  • It was one of the best experience of my life.
  • It was for sure the highlight of my short running life by far.
  • I feel very grateful.
  • I met some really nice and kind people.
  • I have never worn that much pink in my life.
  • I could move to Seattle or Oregon tomorrow.
  • My legs are so trashed right now
  • I am so happy I got to do this.
More importantly :

HUGE thank you to everyone at NUUN.

They took such good care of all of us. 
They went more than out of their ways to make us feel welcomed. 
Their generosity and kindness was endless.
They could not have done more to make this the experience of a lifetime.

Told you...lots of pink..

Hood to Coast Finisher



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's Hood to Coast time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am ready.
Bags are packed.
I hope I got everything :)

I cannot believe it is finally here!

I am a little nervous.  I have never left my kids before.  Not even for a day.
I know they will be fine of course but I am sure I will miss them.

But...I am ready for this running adventure!
I am looking forward to meeting all the gals on the team!
I am looking forward to the craziness of HTC.
I feel lucky and grateful that I have a wonderful husband who supports me and to NUUN for choosing me to be on the team!

Next post will be coming at you live from Seattle!!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Something for my first leg at Hood to Coast and a winner

Yesterday I ran 5.5 miles.
It was not pain free.
I am tired of this crap groin pain................

Nothing can put me in a bad mood this week.

It is HOOD TO COAST WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is finally here!

Now because I still have pain and because I want to do all I can to be as OK as can be comes Friday.  I will rest more this week.  Like today I am resting after running Saturday and Sunday.  Tomorrow an easy 3 miler and rest Wednesday and Thursday.

I am running leg 1 and it is all downhill and rated VERY HARD.  If you have seen the movie you know it is no joke.

Another thing that makes me happy:

It's coming with me to Oregon, so we will stay in touch!!!

One more thing that makes me happy:  Announcing the winner of my NUUN Giveaway:

Brand New Marathoner and also heading to Hood to Coast this week:
Christy!!!!!!!!  Congrats Christy and email me your address!


Back to HTC for something important to me.
I wanted to remember 2 runners who did what we do many times every week:  They went for a run.   Sadly, they never came back home.  I think about them both often although I never knew them.  I know how lucky I am to be able to run HTC or any run actually, so I am taking them on my back for that first leg down Mount Hood.  I made this bib:

If you don't know their stories

Sherry Arnold here.
Sarah Hart here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bloggers who Run are really NICE Folks

Did you enter my NUUN Giveaway yet?  No? OK I'll wait while you go here to enter.

All today it was hot...nothing special around here but it was also HUMID.  I feel terrible for all of you who have to deal with both heat and humidity all the time.  I went for 4 miles like my PT suggested.  It was not horrible but it was not pain free.  I think I need to go back to run 1 day-rest 1 day (from running not complete rest).  Tomorrow I return to the PT, it will be session #6 and I will get new exercises.  He is supposed to give me some to do while I am in Oregon.  I will not go to PT next week because you know I am going to that little relay.  If I have to take a whole week off after Hood to Coast then so be it.  I will do it.  Yes Marjorie, you read that right. 

I am one lucky gal to have wonderful followers and friends because of this little blog.  On my way back from HTC I will have  2.5 hrs to kill in Phoenix.  Normally I would not be happy about this but in this case I could not be happier because it will be part deux of this:

She is coming to "hang out at the airport" with me...that is pretty nice.  Cannot wait to see you my Arizona Friend!!!!

You know who else is super nice?
This lady right here:

This is Sandy and she blogs here at Boston Bound Brunette.  She lives in my town and she has offered to take me to the airport next Wednesday.  My flight leaves too early for Bill to take me with the boys so I was going to take a cab but Sandy said "No cab! I will take you".  How nice is that?  Thank you Sandy!

Any of you have a pair of these?
Do you like them?

Nike Free 4.0 V2

I have a pair in that color.  I have not tried to run in them yet.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Packing for Hood to Coast- A new playlist and it's GIVEAWAY time!

The countdown to HOOD to COAST is on!

I think I have been pretty reasonable about HTC in my posts, trying to  not get on the nerves of those of you who are not interested in reading 44 posts a day about that race-relay.  Now that we are getting really close to it I cannot not talk about it. 

In one week from TODAY I will be on my way to Seattle.  To the Nuun Headquarters!
I cannot wait!

Packing for Hood to Coast is a bit of a challenge.  I will need things for the relay of course and it has to be kept to a minimum because well 6 runners plus 1 driver plus supplies...the space will be limited.  I also need stuff for the 2 days I will spend in Seattle....

I know some of you have done relay like this before...HTC or Ragnar.

Tell me
1.  Something you wish you had packed that you did not bring.
2.  What did you bring that you did not need.

I am on Team Night!
I decided to make a Playlist for my van (VAN 1)

Since we are talking about Hood to Coast I thought I would do another


Here is your chance to win a Nuun bottle and a tube of Nuun tablets!

How to win:

1. You must be a Follower of this blog.  Leave a comment.
2. Share on your blog or twitter.  Leave me the link to the post or the tweet.

Open to all readers from any country.  Winner will be chosen with  You have until Sunday to enter!

Remember a post about my new addiction here?
I said the 1st person to guess it would get an extra entry.  Jenn gets it she guessed right:

Yep I am addicted to Angry Birds.  It is not even funny and the worst part is I suck at it. I totally blame these 2 for this

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Now we can all get some sleep!

The Olympics are over.That means I will sleep more.
I am one of those people who stayed up until midnight every day to watch the Olympics on TV.  I would cheat and look at the results online during the day and STILL stay up way too late.

This might just be my favorite moment of the games:

I am so happy for this gal: Allyson Felix

Perseverance should be her middle name.  After 2 silver medals in that event at the Olympics....third time WAS the charm!

I am so over this guy:

 Yes, he is a GREAT athlete. No doubt. But he is in serious need of a mega dose of HUMILITY.  His interview last night on NBC gave me nausea.

I feel bad for this guy:

The Greatest Olympian (For me there's no question about that, it is him. The end.)

I am happy that he did end up having great Olympic Games and that he closed the book on high note.  One of a kind for sure.


Thursday I ran 3 miles in no pain.  I kept waiting for the pain in the groin to show up and it did not.  Now it was just 3 miles and it was not very fast but it was pain free. HOPE.

I had my 4th PT session Friday.  It was hard, 3 days later I am still sore.
My PT said I could try running 4-5 miles this weekend and that Tuesday we would talk about how that went and evaluate the situation again.  He said the idea was to run at no pain and slowly increase the distance.  So for now it was 3 miles and we would see if I can run longer without pain.

Yesterday I did just 3 and today I went for 5.

Well those 5 were not pain free.  I am a little discouraged by this.  I hoped it would be but right after mile 4 I started feeling the pain.  It is not sharp but it is there.  So for the next few days I will stay at 3-4 and see how that goes.

I bought one of these (got it on sale 50% off!) :

I have been using it at the PT for core work and other exercises and I want to be able to do it at home once the PT sessions are over.

Do you have one of these ball? What is your favorite exercise?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pulling a Double shift and PT visit #2

It's Back to School week here !!!

My kids are so lucky! They both got great teachers.  Jonathan is in the 1st grade and was placed in a 1-2 combo and he has the wonderful teacher Will had for 1st and 2nd grade.  Will is in the 3rd grade and he also has a great teacher.

I am still doing my PT exercises every day, I am making progress with those darn planks :) and I have been good at following the PT's order of not run more than 3 miles.  AT THE TIME. You see he actually never said that I could not do more than one 3 miles run per day.  So....Sunday is when I do a long run usually.  3 miles is not a long run.  I went for 3 miles in the morning.  It was so hot....the hottest day so far.  All day I kept thinking that I should go for another 3 in the evening.  I thought it would be good to prepare for Hood to Coast and I would put more miles in that way.  So at 6:30 pm I went back out for another 3 miles.  I felt fine during the run.  I actually felt LESS pain while running than  I did walking that day; legs felt a little heavy at first but other than that and the heat it was OK.  Later in the evening I did feel pain in my groin and also on the side of my leg..not sure if it was the IT band or not.  I used the foam roller, that was painful but I still did it hoping it would help and it did.  I did not have that pain the next day or today.  

Monday I rested. 
This morning I went for 3 miles in 94 degrees is the worst week so far for the heat; yesterday it was 107 when I went to get the kids at school.  After my run, and a shower of course, I went for my 2nd PT appointment.  Another 2.5 hours of exercises and stretches.  I did confess to the PT that I went out twice Sunday.  He asked how the weekend went.  I told him I had a race Saturday and that Sunday I went running twice. I said "You said 3 miles max but you never said how many 3 per day!"  He smiled and he said that if I had no pain doing it it was OK as long as there's some rest between the 2.  He told me to stay at 3 until Friday and we will discuss the weekend plan then.  Today he added new exercises to my routine using a fitness ball.   One was squats with the ball behind the back and rolling against a wall.  The other was on the floor, shoulders and head on the ball and in a bridge position, this one looks easier than it is!  Also a series of exercises for balance.  Some are not easy..made my legs shake like leaves!  I got out of there really tired. 

Next appointment Friday! I have decided to do 6 weeks with 2 sessions instead of 4 weeks with 3 sessions.  Jonathan, the PT, said it would be a better plan for me and I am happy with that.

Olympics: I am sad Lolo Jones did not make it.  I am beyond upset at how the Canada-USA soccer match went down,  I don't think that ref should plan a vacation in my country anytime soon.  I think it is pretty great that 2 brothers were on the podium for the men's triathlon and that they are British.  Looking forward to the men's marathon!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pride of the Valley 5k and kids race

This race is really fun.  We ran it last year and the boys loved it.
The course is 100% flat.  Lots of High School kids come to this race and it is a fast crowd (14:33 for the winner, first woman was 17:07 and she was 63rd overall!).
I am not ready to race in a 5k and I did not want to make my injury worst. So I was good.  I went faster than I did last week in the 10k but did not go for the PR.  I again tried to keep my steps short.   It did not feel great in that race.  I know it will take time to get use to this so I am going to keep working on it because I do believe it will help not getting injured in the future.  So no PR but good enough for 7th place out of 42 in my AG. 

Kids did great!  Race was supposed to be 1/2 mile but ended up being 3/4 mile.  I like this one because they have time chip for the kids also.
Last year, Jonathan beat older brother Will and he kept reminding him on the way to the race!! :)

 Here we go!

And this year big brother came in first!

....but Jonathan was just 6 sec behind him!!!

The rest of the weekend was spent in front of the TV, staying up way too late watching the Olympics.  I blame Michael Phelps for my lack of sleep this last week.   Hard to believe we will not see him swim again. 

I am so happy Andy Murray won the Gold Medal this morning!  I watched the marathon of course and it looked brutal.  I loved seeing the two American gals supporting each other at the end, says a lot about their true friendship I think.  They both looked like they had given ALL they had.  Cannot ask for more. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My first trip to the PT Clinic

If you are a loyal reader you know that I have had some problems with my left groin since June.  I saw a PT in Quebec and was diagnosed with adductor tendinopathy.

It is not better and I decided to go see a PT here to see if I could get help.  I don't want to stop running because 3 weeks I got the most important event of "my running life" to attend.  3 weeks until Hood to Coast people!! I cannot wait.....OK back to the PT.

How did it go?
I am VERY impressed and so happy I went.  It was worth waiting 1 hour and 20 min at the Dr office to get the referral for PT treatment.

My insurance covers 100% I only have to pay my usual copay for a specialist.  I can go 60 times in one year.  That was great news because if I had to pay I think I would have gone less than what I need.

My appointment was at 11 am and I left the clinic at 2:20 pm!
First I met the PT, Jonathan,  he is super nice, I had a good feeling about him right away.
He asked a bunch of questions.  I told him I do not want to stop running and I explained that I have the relay in 3 weeks.  He had the perfect reaction.  He did an exam to evaluate the situation and he said I am a classic case of adductor tendonitis.  I prefer being a classic case than a unique one that's for sure!

He explained what we would do during this session and we got started.
First I sat on a table legs straight and they put a large heated pad on my groin for about 20 min.  That thing was hooooot.

After that I went on the treadmill to run one mile for warm up.
Then I started the exercises and stretch he prescribed.  His assistant came to show me what to do, the reps and she also took pictures of me doing all 14 of them.  That took a while.  Several reps on each side.  Those are the exercises to do at home.  Some were a bit painful and it was confirmed once again that  I  hate to do planks...I really really hate them...but I will do them.

I did another set of exercises:  balance, squats and strenght for ankles and calves also.

Once I got done with all that workout I got a 15 min massage for the lower back.  That was nice.  The PT came to stretch my legs and he used the stick to roll my groin.....AOUCHY...that hurts but it works better than rolling that area with the foam roller.
We had a little chat and he gave me my daily homework in a binder with all the pictures of me doing the exercises I need to do at home.  Looks like that:

I bought the stretch strap and the yellow band

Now notice what he wrote at the bottom of the last page....
I don't like THAT part.
1 to 3 miles!
I gave him that look
So of course it will be min 3. 
Saturday I have a 5k race.  I will be good and not go crazy even if this course is 100% flat perfect to go for a PR..... I got my eye on the important stuff....HTC and Long Beach.
I  cannot promise that Sunday it won't be 6 or 7 miles.
We will see.

Next appointment is next Tuesday.
I am happy with this visit and I think this will help me a lot.